Major League Soccer expanded to St. Louis on Tuesday. At the same time as MLS Commissioner Don Garber was singing the praises of the newest franchise to join the top-level of American soccer, Phoenix Rising FC was featured on a national website for their win streak on Dollar Beer Night.
“It’s always exciting in the stadium, but Friday nights is a different level.”
Check out the @ESPN profile on our $1 Beer Nights.
— Phoenix Rising FC (@PHXRisingFC) August 21, 2019
St. Louis put together the first women-majority-owned group entering MLS, which is a very good for soccer in the USA. The USL is adding teams in San Diego, Oakland, and Baltimore next year, so the sport is taking off in both Leagues. You could make the argument today that Rising FC is better off staying in the USL and growing the brand for the next couple of seasons, rather than whining about being passed over again by MLS. From my view, until a stadium solution is announced and shovels of dirt have been turned, the USL might be where Rising FC sits for a few years, which may not be such a bad thing.
One sharp mind on the current growth of USA Pro Soccer suggested to me that eventually USL and MLS could merge. Interesting to look back in sports and see that once upon a time the NFL competed against the AFL before the two came together. The NBA eventually brought in the ABA(loved the Kentucky Colonels)
Soccer is in growth mode and there’s a United Soccer League team here in Phoenix. If FOR NOW getting a headline out of Dollar Beer Night is the way to attract attention away from Major League Soccer passing over Phoenix, so be it.
Next week will mark three years since Arizona United was sold and Rising FC was born. I’ve been watching attempt after attempt to get the sport off the ground here in Arizona for the last twenty years. This current group has put a lot of energy into the product. I hope that they don’t get fatigued like those before them. Rising FC President Bobby Dulle sent me over a text this morning “Phoenix Rising FC is more committed than ever to furthering investments into our soccer operations at all levels. We are thrilled with the growth of our amazing fan base,sponsors, government and community support throughout the State of Arizona.”